Friends react to news of arrest in 2016 Sycamore murder case

SYCAMORE – Steve Henke first learned that there was going to be an announcement about the murder of Robert and Patricia Wilson Monday night. Henke knew Robert from church and had been friends for years. “He was a good guy,” Henke said. “He was always good to his mom.” When the news broke on Tuesday morning that an arrest had been made, Henke said it was “real good news.” On Monday police arrested Jonathan D. Hurst, 51, of Cincinnati, in connection with the August 2016 killings. Hurst has been

Sandwich man gets 45-year sentence for 2017 attempted murder

SYCAMORE – Carl Russell showed no emotion as Judge Phillip Montgomery sentenced him to 45 years in prison for the 2017 attempted murder of Eric Peterson. The sentence came after an afternoon of emotional statements from Peterson’s family and the submission of letters from friends and family of Russell. Kelly Blum, Peterson’s mother, said that while Peterson, 25, survived the shooting July 2, 2017, the person she knew before was no longer there. She described him as a loving, kind-hearted perso

Judge William Brady retires after 45 years as lawyer, judge

Judge William Brady stood in front of the judge’s bench in the third floor courtroom. He pointed to both of the tables behind him. “I would sit there are a prosecutor; I would sit there as a defense attorney,” he said. Then he pointed at the judge’s chair. “Being able to sit there, the triangle is complete. It’s something that you can aspire to.” Brady retired Sunday after 16 years as a judge and 45 years practicing law, beginning as an assistant state’s attorney in the DeKalb County State’s A

Moving on up in the East Side

MORRIS – The city of Morris announced some short and long-term plans for the old Federal Paperboard property at 960 E. North St. This year, the city plans on tearing down the building on the portion of property it owns. In the coming years? Two new city blocks of homes. Third Ward Alderman Jeffrey Wachowski made the announcement at the end of Monday's city council meeting. He said he's been working on the project for the four years of his term on on the city council and it has been a goal of h

A very valuable dollar

MORRIS – On New Year’s Eve 1951, three friends pooled their money together and went to the American Legion Hall on Washington Street in Morris to have a good time. At the end of the night, Jimmy Iverson, Marvin Mickelson and Gordon Vaksdal had one dollar left. They split it into three pieces, each took one and they said the last one alive would get to reunite the pieces. Iverson, who lives in Newark now, received the middle piece, with George Washington’s portrait. On July 11, members from al

Resident has torches made in Sycamore for two U.S. Olympiads

SYCAMORE – More than 30 years ago, a piece of Sycamore was at the start of two Olympiads. Turner Brass of Sycamore designed and made the Olympic torches that traveled to and lit the flames of the Lake Placid Winter Games and the Los Angeles Summer Games, and the torches still are here. Sycamore resident Jerry Pelan was superintendent of the Turner Brass plant at the time and, after the success of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, was presented with a plaque from the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing

Moving on down the line

EARLVILLE — Carl Zimmerman first heard about Great Lakes Basin Railroad when his father called him in a panic. After checking a map himself, Zimmerman saw the proposed route would go through several properties the family owns or farms, passing close to both their homes. At Carl Zimmerman’s place, the rail would be about 900 feet from his house. “I thought, ‘We have to get the word out,” he said. So he set up a meeting at Earlville High School for community residents. While 200 people showed up to the meeting in Earlville, Zimmerman has connected with groups along the route and is part of a network in three states and 11 counties, all in opposition to Great Lakes Basin Railroad.

'It's not just a name, but a life'

MARSEILLES — Fifteen black granite blocks stand along the north shore of the Illinois River at Marseilles, thousands of gray names etched into the mirrored surfaces. High above the blocks, flags representing the United States, Illinois, prisoners of war and the different armed services snap in the wind. The river rushes behind, downstream from the Marseilles Dam. It’s not quiet, but it is peaceful. On the ground in front of the blocks are small items: children’s drawings, keepsakes, stones brought from someplace else, empty beer cans and bottles. Combat boots.

For the Majority of Undocumented Immigrants Who Remain in the Shadows, Churches Offer Sanctuary

6 million undocumented immigrants won’t receive relief under Obama’s executive action. Some churches are providing them with hope. On November 11, Miguel Sanchez Olguin gathered with his family and friends behind the altar of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission to hear Father Jose Landaverde make an announcement: The church would grant Sanchez Olguin sanctuary from deportation. “We do what all Christians should do,” Landaverde said.